Dialogue and interaction among family members is vital to the success of a family business. Think of any relationship you might have. That relationship has a “bank” into which you must make deposits, so when the time comes and there is a stress in the relationship, you have a reserve in your account upon which you can draw. With this understanding, it makes sense for a family to find as many ways as possible to build and enhance relationships with one another.
One way to build relationships is for family members to learn together by attending conferences, workshops or classes. When multiple family members learn new skills and ideas, they have the opportunity to discuss those ideas with the rest of the family and determine how those ideas may be of use in their own situation.
What kinds of workshops/courses should you attend?
- The Family Business Network is an organization created by and for family-owned enterprise. It’s an international community where family businesses connect, exchange and learn. They hold meetings around the world throughout the year offering educational seminars and networking opportunities. Learn more at http://www.fbn-i.org/.
- Families need to talk about money, and they need a common language to do so. Many business schools and community colleges offer courses that teach financial management for non-financial managers. These courses put forth the fundamentals: the mechanics of record-keeping and management of such matters as cash flow. If several family members take such a course at the same time, they will develop a foundation for their interaction about family business finances.
- Communication is critical to the success of family businesses. Community colleges and universities offer many types of communications training. Check online to see what sorts of courses are offered in your area.
The value of these experiences lies in learning together and bringing new ideas back to the family.
If a family is willing to learn new things, it is highly likely they will be successful in the business, because they are looking for ways to improve and enhance the operation of their enterprise. They try new methods of operation and stay on top of developments in their sector or industry. This is in contrast to those who become static, stuck in the old ways, with the mentality “We have always done it this way.” Those businesses soon become obsolete.
Nearly 25 years ago, in my work as a consultant to family business, I identified the ten qualities of families who remain positively connected and successful in business. One of those qualities is “willingness to learn and grow.” (Read my post about these Ten Keys to Success in Family Business.) Are you ready and willing?
Does Your Family Business Need Help?
Family Business Matters has extensive experience assisting family businesses. With many decades of experience, we understand the wide variety of challenges that families face as they work together to build, grow and sustain a thriving family business generation after generation. Through conferences, continuing education programs, family business retreats, speaking engagements and private family business consulting services, Family Business Matters has assisted more than 450 family-owned businesses around the world chart their way through family business issues of all shapes and sizes.
For more information on how Family Business Matters can help your family business survive and thrive, please contact us today at (970) 948-5077.